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Recipe Friday: Modernized Comfort Food

Modernized comfort food is more than meatloaf and mac 'n cheese. Comfort food evokes nostalgia, and feels like a warm embrace on a cold winter's night.

Mexican cuisine in itself is considered comfort food amongst diners, which includes dishes with Mexican flavors as well as what might be considered comfort "classics." The rich tradition of Mexican cuisine allows chefs to put a modern spin on their dishes, making them more suited for the changing palates of today’s diners. 

So how does that translate to the plate, and what if Mexican cuisine isn't in your wheelhouse? 

Diners are seeking familiarity with dishes that “taste like home," but they also want new, tasty combinations. This can be done by adding or swapping ingredients in traditional dishes with those that are authentically Mexican, or applying techniques like slow cooking, braising, and creating family-style meals that allow people to enjoy them around the table together. Comfort is all about creating those amazing first-bite moment that show guests the meal was made with love.

Check out these modernized comfort food recipes from the Future Menus Report. 

Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad

Recipe courtesy JC Lopategui

Yield: 4


3 lbs large yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 T kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 ea. ears of corn, fresh, cut from cob
1 oz extra virgin olive oil
½ cup red onion, finely diced
¼ cup celery, chopped
½ cup green onions, sliced thin
¼ cup chopped cilantro
3 ea. avocados

Method for Potatoes

  1. Sprinkle potatoes with salt, pepper and EVOO.
  2.  Bake potatoes at 425°F for 20-25 minutes, until fork-tender.
  3. Set aside at room temperature to cool off and refrigerate.

Method for Corn

  1. Mix all ingredients in a clean bowl, place corn on a sheet pan and bake at 425°F for 10 minutes.
  2. Set aside at room temperature to cool off and refrigerate

Method for Salad

  1. Using a large bowl; combine all these ingredients, along with the cooked potatoes, and mix well.
  2. Dish the potato salad on a large platter and top it with the cooked corn.

Ingredients for Avocado Mayo

¼ cup pepper, jalapeño, stemmed, seeded
2½ fl oz lime juice, fresh
1 cup Hellmann’s® Heavy Duty Vegan Mayonnaise
3 ea. avocados 


  1. Combine all ingredients using a blender and purée for one to two minutes or until smooth.
  2. Place mayo in a squeeze bottle and refrigerate/set aside.
  3. Garnish the salad with mayo and Mexican Tajín and enjoy!
Chef tip: Elotes is a trendy flavor inspiration that can create a mashup with many different dishes, from lobster rolls to grilled cheese.

Caldo de Res (Mexican Beef Soup) 

Recipe courtesy Alvaro Lima

Yield: 10


3½ lbs beef shank or chuck roast, cubed
Black pepper, to taste
3 T canola oil
2 ea. large onions
29 oz can diced tomatoes
3 ea. large carrots
3 ea. large yukon gold potatoes, diced
4 ea. ears of corn, husked, cut into thirds
3 ea. chayote squash, quartered
1 ea. green cabbage, quartered
¼ cup cilantro leaves
Cilantro leaves, fresh, for garnish
Radishes, sliced, as needed
Jalapeños, sliced, as needed

Ingredients for Caldo de Res

 4 x 4.4 lbs Knorr® Professional Caldo de Res/Beef Bouillon
1½ gallons, prepared 


  1. Season meat with black pepper. In a large pot, sear meat until browned.
  2. Add tomatoes and ½ of the Knorr Caldo de Res prepared broth, cover with lid and let it simmer for three to four hours or until meat is fork-tender.
  3. Pour in the remainder of the broth, and add all the vegetables along with the cilantro, making sure all the vegetables are submerged in the broth and cook for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Once all the vegetables are cooked, serve in large soup bowls and garnish with sliced radish, cilantro leaves and jalapeño slices.
Chef tip: You can easily swap beef shank for other cuts of meat that lend themselves to slow cooking such as pork shoulder, whole chicken, or even lamb shank. 

Hearts of Palm Ceviche

Recipe courtesy Kyla Tuori

Yield: 4


2 cups hearts of palm, diced ½ inch
½ up red onion, small dice
½ cup red bell pepper, small dice
½ cup green bell pepper, small dice
Zest of lime
½ cups cilantro chopped
4 ea. limes juiced
½ cup Hellmann’s® Vegan Mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
1 T ripe jalapeño peppers, minced


  1. Combine all ingredients and mix well.
  2. Garnish with additional cilantro and serve with chips.



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